How to Determine the Best Web Optimization Practices for Your Dream Client
We hear a lot of noise around what the best practices for web optimization (SEO – Search Engine Optimization) are, and the lists are definitely long, but with the rules always changing, and experts telling you all the differing things you MUST do – how do you know who to trust when it comes to writing content that is optimized for the web for your dream client?
Well, you don’t, really. The only thing you can trust are the results you get (or don’t get) after you’ve started putting together your posts and hitting the ever-so-amazing: publish.
You’ll always be able to find the “right or wrong” way to do things online, but if you aren’t clear from the get-go on WHO your blog post is actually for, doing things right will only get you numbers, and not the right people (ie. dream client) for those numbers.
This is so key for your Web Optimization.
It doesn’t make a difference if you get 10,000 readers to your blog post if they aren’t people you actually want to reach (again: they won’t be people interested in buying your product or service, getting on your list or sticking around to hear what you have to say in any way).
There won’t be engagement, there won’t be click-through, and your analytics will reflect higher bounce rates. The whole point of blogging or having your business online to begin with – is to help people, right? Well, those are the type of people we’re working with anyway, people who help people, so I’m assuming you’re here because you want that, too.
So, how do you do it? How do you even begin to curate the best web optimization experience for your dream client?
Find Your Niche Before Anything Else – When You’ve Found it, Dig Even Deeper
A lot of us are too scared to niche down to figure out our dream clients because we’re afraid of alienating all our potential dream clients in our industry when they’re looking for services on our websites, social media, word-of-mouth, etc. But here’s the thing: If you’re a photographer and you only specialize in weddings why wouldn’t you want that featured on your messaging? Nobody has time to waste – you don’t and neither does your website visitor.
“Specializing In Weddings” isn’t even paired down enough. There are a lot of wedding photographers out there – so how can you further narrow it down for your website visitor?
You could do the following:
- Think about the type of photographs you produce for your previous clients (if you’re brand new: think about your editing talents and what you WILL be doing for your clients)
- Do you have airy photos?
- Light and bright or dark and moody editing?
Thinking about your specific style and service is what will help narrow down your dream client and thus what type of blog posts you should be writing about in the first place.
How to Find and Use Google Keyword Planner
One of the best-kept secrets of the web is Google’s keyword planner. Using this handy tool can really up level your blog posts and get them in the face of people who should be reading your posts, not just anyone who stumbles onto them.
What’s really great about this tool is that you can use it for free, and really understand which keywords are the best to use when directing them at your target client.
If you don’t know how to set up or use Google Ads (previously Google Adwords) then check out this post that guides you through finding the Keyword Planner within their interface. If you do know how to do this, keep reading!
Basically, what you’re doing, is looking for medium or high competition rates and keywords that “cost a lot” in the Higher Bid column (for people who are preparing Ads for their campaigns – obviously if they cost a lot, it’s because they bring in a good return on investment of that initial bid). You’ll also want to make sure your keywords make sense for you and your target client.
This is where it gets important.
There is a difference between getting people to come to your blog, and getting people to come to your blog and then buy something (after all, that’s what we’re doing here). Of all the potential keywords that come up, you want to make sure of the following:
- Your choice has a medium-high competition rate.
- Your choice has a pretty high bid for Adwords (meaning marketers want it).
- Your choice makes sense for your website/blog (meaning your potential customer using it would probably end up buying your service because of it).
Making Sure Your Website Works
Google crawls your website for more than just content. It looks for broken links, irregular content patterns (duplicate content) and keyword stuffing (don’t do this!). Google also checks to see if your website loads quickly. All of these items contribute to web optimization for your website.
Ensure Your Website is Responsive
In addition, Google also knows if your website is responsive and will “dock” you points in search rankings if your site is not responsive or does not perform well in its searches.
When you think about the amount of people searching the internet through their phones, it’s no surprise that Google wants to make sure they’re serving their customer and displaying the most relevant search results for them – which are websites that have taken web optimization into consideration.
Google knows the person is on their phone (Google knows everything) and they also know if you’re website looks like crap on mobile. So if it does, you’re off the ranking – just like that. No matter how good your content is.
For Content – Think of Your Ideal Client – Not You
Speaking of good content, we head into the meat and potatoes of blog posts and pages.
Always remember you’re the expert in your industry – your client isn’t. That’s why they need to hire you so when thinking about your keywords, make sure you’re thinking about the terms your clients will search for, not your industry standards. One of the greatest and easiest free tips on web optimization is to ensure you’re speaking like your customer would be speaking, or searching.
Optimize Your Website Images
Page load speeds are essential for Google search results – and for your reader. If your page takes too long to load – your reader isn’t sticking around. To learn more about how to optimize your website images, check out this post that details exactly what you should be doing to every image you upload to your website.
Plugins to Help Your SEO in WordPress
SEO by Yoast is a super popular plugin for WordPress to help website owners get a good handle on if their blog posts are being written up to the standards. The free version is robust enough but if you get the yearly subscription you’re able to have more than one focus keyword. Stick with the free version until you’re used to it.
Check out other recommended WordPress plugins that help to boost your site in general.
Where to find The Best Resources for Other Platforms
You’re paying platforms to host your websites for a reason – so use their included resources on web optimization – this is what you’re paying for, so use them. Obviously I have a bias for WordPress (using it since I was 16, which was about 16 years ago) and therefore I know it’s sticking around and is the most robust for scaling your website business, but understand that other platforms work for others as well.
Follow the guide Weebly offers on their website to make sure you’re following the best practices for your SEO. It is pretty basic and follows all the information provided today.
Follow the usual blog, page and meta descriptions to maximize your exposure. You can find more information on web optimization for WIX here.
Go to their help section, and check out the “What Squarespace does for SEO” section, it was easy to find, and follow the directions on the site there to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts.
Take a look at the Shopify help pages for web optimization for your Shopify site and products, they provide a clear rundown of best practices for their platform.
Install Google Analytics
If you don’t have anything capturing your data, then the whole process is pointless. You need to install Google Analytics so you can properly pay attention to what’s working (and what isn’t) and be able to adjust if necessary or do more of what seems to be working.
Always remember, as your website visitors grow and your web optimization gets better and easier to manage, your business should also increase in sales as well. It may take time to see the parallels, but everything should increase with time. If it’s not, and your visitor count climbs and climbs, then the next step is figuring out what’s not working after the user is ON your site.
Ensure your design is always focused on giving the user what they need to see – your services and a way to get in touch to use them or buy them.
Good luck! Let us know if these techniques helped your pages rank higher after time and fiddling.